Are you thinking about opening a new restaurant? Or, are you in the process of planning the grand opening of your new restaurant concept? If so, we’re sure you’ve got plenty on your “to-do” list! Between operational logistics, hiring and training staff and keeping everything on schedule, opening a new restaurant can be overwhelming.
However, if you step back and look at the big picture, the success of a new restaurant or new restaurant concept depends on just 10 things. That’s right. Chances are, almost all of your “to-dos” fall under one of the categories below.
We’re not saying it’s as easy as checking each of these 10 things off your list once, and being done with the hard work. Each of these 10 categories represent the pillars of your business, and you’ll have to continuously monitor your level of success on each one, go back to the drawing board on some, and work really hard on others.
Check out our list below, and let us know what you think.
And don’t forget… you can do it!
New Store Top 10
1. Recruiting – You need to have a plan early in the process. Don’t wait until the last minute to think about who you want to hire, because at that point it will be about who you can hire (i.e. who’s available).
2. Training – Same thing here. You need to have a plan in place early in the process. How and when will you train your employees? What materials will you need? How will you know if your training is successful?
3. Scheduling – Aside from scheduling manager and employee shifts, you need to schedule your marketing activities. What types of marketing will you pursue, and when? What makes sense for your customers, your community and your business? Don’t put marketing on the “when we have time” list, because you probably won’t ever have time.
4. Community – Make a connection with your community before opening your new restaurant. Join the Chamber of Commerce, meet your neighbors, and drop in on the local fire house or police station with menus and business cards. You want to be a familiar face in your community (at least on your street) when you open.
5. Surprise & Delight – In the same way that you should schedule your marketing, you should schedule fun ways to surprise and delight your customers and neighbors. Maybe it’s a free donut for the guy who does the coffee run for his office or a sandwich platter for your bank. Whatever you decide, these small gestures will go a long way towards building a connection with your community.
6. Food – For a restaurant, ensuring the quality of your food offerings is a no brainer. Before you open and get set with your vendors, shop around! If you’re a pizza restaurant, sample several types of tomatoes or mozzarella cheese. You want to make sure you’re getting the best product (within your budget), not just the standard offering along with everybody else.
7. Business-to-Business – Who are the local business in your area? Stop by and say hi! See what they’re all about and let them know that you’re new to the area. Don’t forget to drop off business cards, menus and maybe offer a “neighborhood discount” for their staff. You’ll be sure to see them again!
8. Passion – Whether your passionate about the grass-fed beef that goes into your burgers, or about your extensive craft beer list, make sure that you are the authority on all things related to your business. No one should know more about grass-fed beef and/or craft beer than you and your staff. Establish yourself as the expert in your community.
9. Customers – Seeing customers in your restaurant is a wonderful thing. Sit back, and enjoy this moment. Now, get back to work. Ask your customers how their experience is / how it has been. Ask what you can do better. Then listen.
10. Expectations – Review expectations of your grand business plans with your partners prior to opening. It’s impossible to gauge success without goals and expectations in place. Have these measurable objectives firmly set in place before you open the doors. Then, start measuring.